I received a press release today from the Smithsonian Institution’s National Zoological Park stating that the sexes of a pair of clouded leopard cubs born at their Conservation Biology Institute campus are now known to be males — both of ’em. Clouded leopards are highly imperiled cats of Southeast Asia and these two little siblings are products of a captive breeding program. And if you aren’t suckered in by the cuteness of their mugs alone, consider that these two little Romeo’s were born on Valentines Day, just thought I’d throw that in there to sweeten the pot on their cuteness factor! One weighs 4 pounds 9 ounces, the other is two ounces less. Check these little brothers out:
The release states that “the cubs now ‘chuff,’ which can be described as a puffing sound and is considered a sign of recognition.” (I don’t know if it is at all the same sound, but my half-Maine Coon cat used to make a puffing-huffing sound when he was really excited about playing or being fed. He only did it when he was very satisfied, or very excited, and it was a sound we always cherished for its richness.) I did not know this before reading the press release, but SI has the largest captive clouded leopard population in the United States. You can read more about it here. My writing here on Wild Muse tends to skew toward the canids, so I hope this makes the felid-lovers out there happy.